SOUTHPORT, Ind. (WISH) — The Southport boys basketball team has been penalized after it was discovered that a coach paid the tuition for a foreign-born player.
The ban comes after an Indiana High School Athletic Association investigation into the athletic program at Southport High School.
The school will not be able to participate in the IHSAA Boys’ Basketball Tournament Series.
Boys basketball coach Eric Brand was found to have paid more than $5,550 to cover the tuition of Nickens Paul Lemba, a student originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Lemba has been ruled ineligible for the 2019-20 season. Brand has been suspended for the first two games of the season.
The program will be on probation for one year.
Perry Township schools and Southport High School has released this statement:
Perry Township Schools and Southport High have been cooperative and fully transparent throughout the IHSAA investigation. We are disappointed in the Commissioner’s findings and will evaluate our right to appeal portions of the report and penalties.
Student safety, academic success, and compliance are the primary goals of our schools. In this case, we believe the high school’s actions were consistent with those values, and we will continue to move forward in full compliance of IHSAA rules.
Perry Township schools and Southport High School